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Looking for side trip after LA with teens

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Sep 29th, 2012, 09:51 AM
  #1
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Looking for side trip after LA with teens

We are travelling to LA for a few days (3-4) in late Dec/early Jan with 2 teenagers and wanted to go to a second location in California for another 3 to 4 days while we were there. We were considering both the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai or the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara. We're just not sure which location would provide more activities. We are aware that it is not really beach weather at that time of year, but we would enjoy hiking, biking, and other active pursuits. Another thought was the Ritz in Laguna Niguel.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
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Sep 29th, 2012, 10:31 AM
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What part of LA will you stay in for the first location?

We have stayed at the Ritz Laguna Niguel,and it is a very nice resort hotel with gorgeous ocean views and a nice beach (you have to walk down to the beach, or take their golf cart shuttle). It has at least two pools. Beautifully designed and maintained grounds. Impeccable service. We stayed on property for the most part, to enjoy it. Not sure it's a place of teens, though. I guess I think of nearby Laguna are as having a slightly older vibe.

The Four Seasons in Santa Barbara is also beautiful. We haven't stayed there, though. Maybe Santa Barbara would be a nice switch from LA, depending on where you are in LA.

It depends on how active your teens will want to be and how much time would you spend off-property.
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Sep 29th, 2012, 10:46 AM
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Santa Barbara is nice - but probably a little sleepy for the teens. Much more for them to do in San Diego, and it's also easier to get around here.

And you can still have days in the "winter" that are very nice at the beach. Could also learn to surf - and even if the water is a bit colder - wearing a wetsuit keeps you warm.

Here are some ideas and there are many more things for them to do - such as the Safari Park (formerly called Wild Animal Park) and the Zoo, ride the new Mantra ride at Sea World, etc.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/21...-in-san-diego/
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Sep 29th, 2012, 10:57 AM
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Thanks Tomsd. We've already been to San Diego when the kids were younger and did the zoo, Legoland, Sea World thing. We just thought it would be nice to spend a few days in the "city" and then a few days in the outskirts.

In Santa Barbara, is the zoo, Nat'l History Museum or Sea Center geared towards younger kids, or might older ones enjoy those as well?
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Sep 29th, 2012, 11:39 AM
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What about Palm Springs?
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Sep 29th, 2012, 12:23 PM
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First, Santa Barbara is a far more interesting destination than Ojai. I can elaborate on that if you wish. (I live just an hour down the coast from SB). Here's what you can do there.

http://www.santabarbara.com/points_of_interest/

The Los Angeles Zoo is far larger than the SB zoo, in fact it's slightly larger than the San Diego Zoo but isn't rated as high as the latter. My point is that if you really want to go to a zoo, might as well do it while you're in LA.

My suggestion however is "none of the above". Get thee away from the coast and head for the inland desert areas. That's where the weather is ideal in the winter. Consider places like Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park, and yes, even Death Valley.
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Sep 29th, 2012, 12:29 PM
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We recently went through Santa Barbara on our way to San Luis Obispo which is a college town, further north. Have to agree with the other post that SB was beautiful but might be "sleepy" from a teen perspective. However, the Four Seasons might have enough amenites to satisfy them!! If they enjoy the outdoors, there are many sea kayaking outfitters along the coast (they provide the wetsuits) and whale watching.

If they had been with us, I think my teens (boys) would have enjoyed going to the Fender Guitar factory in Corona, CA.
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Sep 29th, 2012, 01:10 PM
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If SB is "sleepy", then Ojai is practically comatose

I agree that winter is the best (or only) time to visit the desert areas.
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Sep 29th, 2012, 01:11 PM
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Palm Springs/The greater Coachella Valley does have a number of fun things to do - including options for kids.

The Living Desert is a very pretty zoo/botanical garden combination http://www.livingdesert.org/ ; taking the tram to the top of Mt. San Jacinto is literally a trip through 7 ecological zones; driving up to the artist colony of Idyllwyld is fun, as is going to other way about 30 miles to the Patton Museum at Desert Center - a great bit of history as is the Palm Springs Air Museum by the Palm Springs airport.

One can also drive through Joshua Tree Natl Monument - which is appreciated by many (no so much by moi) and hiking up to the Indian Canyon oasis/springs at the end of South Palm Canyon also makes for a great half day or so excursion.

A friend of mine also has a Polo team and they play on weekends at the Indio Polo Grounds.

And hey - sometimes when we visited my in-laws - we would enjoy going to an afternoon movie/matinee.

In general see: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...alifornia.html
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Sep 29th, 2012, 02:26 PM
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Where do you recommend staying in Palm Springs?
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Sep 29th, 2012, 02:30 PM
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There are many places to stay in the greater Coachella Valley. Suggest you google away.

We liked Rancho Mirage/Palm Desert - which has a beautiful Marriott/Desert Springs - with Gondolas etc. http://www.desertspringsresort.com/ There are also condos there - suites, etc - either through the hotel or individul condos that owners rent out themselves. Again, google and google and you can find several options.

And if you golf - there are literally a hundred courses.
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Sep 29th, 2012, 06:20 PM
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"Greater Palm Springs" (that is, what people are referring to when they say go to Palm Springs stretches from Palm Springs to La Quinta, and is basically one town after another of resorts, housing developments, golf course communities, shopping centers, shopping streets and restaurants. Each town has a different vibe. You might find some info on here if you search for posts by "PSLocal".
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Sep 29th, 2012, 06:40 PM
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You could also head to the mountains, like Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear Lake. Could be skiing/boarding there in Dec/Jan.
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Sep 30th, 2012, 07:41 AM
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Suddenly Palm Springs doesn't sound that appealing.. "Palm Springs stretches from Palm Springs to La Quinta, and is basically one town after another of resorts, housing developments, golf course communities, shopping centers, shopping streets and restaurants." Too much like where I already live!

I'm rethinking Santa Barbara...how's the hiking situation there?
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Sep 30th, 2012, 08:06 AM
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Where do you live?

Santa Barbara is really ocean level/fairly flat - but behind/above Santa Barbara are some hills. Check out Solvang for example. http://www.cityofsolvang.com/
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Sep 30th, 2012, 09:57 AM
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I'd much prefer SB to Palm Springs with teens, though you'll probably want to watch the weather and change plans if PS is nice and sunny and SB has rain predicted.

www.santabarbarahikes.com
www.santabarbara.com
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Sep 30th, 2012, 11:38 AM
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I have hiked in the "hills" above Santa Barbara, and there are some pretty picturesque trails there. Definitely not flat!

http://www.santabarbarahikes.com/hikes/frontcountry/
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Sep 30th, 2012, 12:18 PM
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"Santa Barbara is really ocean level/fairly flat - but behind/above Santa Barbara are some hills. "

That doesn't describe it at all IMO. Santa Barbara flat-ish -- but abuts the Santa Ynez Mountains and Los Padres National Forest.
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Sep 30th, 2012, 02:25 PM
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Is it too cold to do a day trip to the Channel Islands in December?
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Sep 30th, 2012, 04:23 PM
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You can get the weather info here, and a lot more.

http://www.nps.gov/chis/naturescience/weather.htm

If you're from Minnesota, it's probably nice and warm. If from Florida, not so much.
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